Counting glorification

Q125 :A friend of mine told me that we should not use our fingers to count the number of phrases of glorification of God we do, because the Jews do that. He claims that it is not permitted in our religion. Please comment.

A125 : There is no such truth in what your friend has told you. Using your fingers to keep count of the number of glorification of God or His praises is neither prohibited nor discouraged. Indeed it is quite the reverse, since it was the method used by the Prophet and his companions. In a report by one of the Prophet's companions, the reporter mentions clearly that he saw God's messenger keep count of such glorification with his hand. This is indeed the most practical way of keeping count, since we are recommended to glorify God and praise him repeating each phrase 33 times. It is very easy to use one's fingers to keep such count, considering that we can use each finger for repeating the praise or the glorification 3 times. If we use the right hand only, as preferable, then going twice over the five fingers makes 30 times and adding one more finger completes the count. There is no need to use a bead or stones or any other article whatsoever [such as a mechanical counter]. Your hand is with you all the time. This means that you do not miss your glorification by omitting to carry your counting article or device. That is more practical. Moreover, saying that something is forbidden because the Jews or any other group of people use it is not the sort of attitude Islam encourages. Islam certainly gives the Muslims their distinctive character, but that does not come from rejecting some practices that all human beings may find useful. It is achieved through understanding and implementing the set of principles and values the Islamic way of life is based upon. Muslims are distinguished by their standards, lively conscience, their sense of fairness to all people, and, above all, their submission to God with all the practical implications such submission involves.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )